Endocrine Abstracts (2007) 13 P51

Medical treatment in adrenal insufficiency: Does the patient’s quality of life differ depending on which glucocorticoid is given?

Benjamin Bleicken, Manfred Ventz, Christian J Strasburger & Marcus Quinkler


Clinical Endocrinology, Charite Campus Mitte, Charite University Medicine Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


Objective: Patients from FRG and West-Berlin with primary (1AI) or secondary (2AI) adrenal insufficiency were treated with hydrocortisone (HC) while in contrast patients from the former GDR received prednisolone (PR). Investigation of our study is to detect any differences in quality of life (QoL) in patients on HC or PR medication.

Methods: 350 patients of our outpatient clinic were contacted by mail. Up to now 131 patients took part in the survey. 2 standardized questionnaires (GBB 24, HADS) assessed patients’ health related QoL. GBB 24 analysed medical condition including heart and stomach complaints, rheumatic pain and fatigue. HADS assessed patients’ anxiety and depression. Patient groups were age-matched and preliminary data was analysed in regard to 1AI or 2AI and gender (male (m), female (f)). 6 patient groups were formed (m 2AI HC; m 2AI PR; f 1AI HC; f 1AI PR; f 2AI HC; f 2AI PR). Each group was composed of 7 patients. The male 1AI group could not be analysed yet due to less than 7 patients at the present time.

Results: No significant differences in symptoms and complaints assessed by GBB 24 were seen between women with 1AI and 2AI on HC compared to women on PR. Anxiety and depression scores assessed by HADS indicated no significant differences in both groups. Even though the average time of glucocorticoid treatment in men with 2AI on PR was much longer (19 years) than in men on HC (5 years), no significant difference neither in medical condition nor anxiety or depression was seen between the two treatment groups.

Conclusion: In this preliminary data analysis of a small patient’s cohort we were not able to indicate a significant difference in complaints, symptoms, anxiety or depression depending on different glucocorticoid therapy in patients with adrenal insufficiency.

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